Senators Closing In on Deal to Extend Unemployment Insurance

Reid: Boehner's is not the only plan.
National Journal
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Michael Catalin
Jan. 13, 2014, 2:15 p.m.

Sen­at­ors are inch­ing closer to a bi­par­tis­an deal to ex­tend un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance, with a group of Re­pub­lic­an law­makers and the Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship both sig­nal­ing an agree­ment could be close.

In a sign that a deal may be at hand, Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id called off a late vote Monday on a year-long Demo­crat­ic-backed ex­ten­sion.

Re­pub­lic­ans, angry about be­ing shut out of the amend­ment pro­cess by Re­id, are also say­ing a deal could be close.

“We con­tin­ue to ne­go­ti­ate in good faith, and we are all en­cour­aged that we are mak­ing pro­gress on a pack­age that could pass with bi­par­tis­an sup­port,” wrote Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Kelly Ayotte of New Hamp­shire, Dan Coats of In­di­ana, Dean Heller of Nevada, John Ho­even of North Dakota, Johnny Isak­son of Geor­gia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Rob Port­man of Ohio, in a joint state­ment.

Des­pite the ap­par­ent head­way, there are still dis­agree­ments between the parties. Re­pub­lic­ans are seek­ing a three-month ex­ten­sion that would in­clude a re­peal of the mil­it­ary re­tir­ee cost-of-liv­ing ad­just­ments in­cluded in the Decem­ber budget deal and off­set by meas­ures “with­in the budget win­dow.” Fur­ther de­tails about how the pay-for would work were scant.

Demo­crats, mean­while, pro­posed a year-long ex­ten­sion paid for by an ex­ten­sion of the se­quester for one year, which Re­pub­lic­ans balk at be­cause the sav­ings are slated to come in the fu­ture.


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